Wednesday, July 26, 2006


am I right or am I right?
Regular readers, i.e., me, and I'm more inclined to read my Statcounter than my own blog, will be disgruntled to learn that the Sky Plus box has wiped all our recordings again, to coincide with Film Four becoming a free service. We'd got Lost In Translation and some Marx Brothers films on there along with a couple of films from ages ago which I never got around to seeing.

It's our own fault for never watching anything in real time before. Seriously though, how am I supposed to sit through a film that's on at two in the morning?

Anyway, one of the programmes we recorded and did see was Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe. This is a new series after some pilot shows which we watched a few months ago.

I like Charlie Brooker's writing in the Grauniad. It is like a bucket of icy cold water thrown over all the other nonsense in the broadsheets. You know, the silly recipes, the "ironic" stuff about Tom Cruise's baby, the advice to buy a second home in Romania, the ten page articles by women going through a personal crisis because they have to leave Max and India with that clueless little East European nanny when they go to their fifteen hours a day, 200K salary job ... what ARE Max and India going to learn from a clueless little East European girl when I could offer them so much more? ... but I LOVE my job ... but there's no time to bond with Max and India ... and I feel guilty about thinking the East European nanny is clueless, even though she is ... and I've got this ten page long article to finish ... yadda yadda.

I'm still not sure if Charlie boy adapts to television very well, and when I first started watching him there was something naggingly familiar which I couldn't pinpoint.

After a few weeks, it dawned on me. He has stolen all of his mannerisms from Michael Gambon playing Philip Marlow in The Singing Detective.

I still love The Singing Detective more than anything I've seen on television, being a middlebrow nerd. Once I watched the whole series three times in a row over the course of a month. I think I may have been having some sort of emotional breakdown at the time.

Anyway, Charlie Brooker must have studied it and has now taken on the persona of Philip Marlow: the bitterness; the put-on silly child's voice that Philip used to use in his interviews with Doctor Gibbon; the eyes moving about from side to side. It's uncanny. I hope he doesn't suffer from psoriasis as well.

Unless he is just acting for the cameras. In real life, he may be more like Keith Chegwin.

Just to disturb you even more, he also goes one further than Steve Davis, and looks like Steve Davis morphing into Mark Smith morphing into Jerry Sadowitz.

And he started this series watching the Fr*sties B*y advert - surely proof that S*rly G*rl is taking over the world ...

"Oh, great. This is never on" he deadpanned.

I hope that's enough colour and insight for you all.

now there is a man who should be forcibly restrained from sleeping facedown.
*runs off hiccupping and giggling and flinging confetti*
I think it is a mighty fine admission that you have watched 'The Singing Detective' so many times in such a short space of time. Definitely not a sign of any problems.
Charlie Brooker in the Guardian. Brilliant. I love it. Every Saturday it's the first thing I read.
First - I'm not sure if you're referring to Philip Marlow (who would definitely wouldn't have been able to sleep face down during the worst of his illness in The Singing Detective) or Charlie Brooker. Is he taking over the US? Or are you referring to the Fr*sties B*y? He's six feet under, allegedly, but presumably face up.

Molly - Brilliant ... I think it's time to watch it again soon. I love the soundtrack as well, but the original one seems to have been deleted and I only had it on cassette (!) We managed to get a CD on eBay but some of the songs are missing.

*reader hits head against wall repeatedly*

Billy - he does other, non-tv related stuff in the Guardian during the week but I don't buy the paper and keep forgetting to look on the website.
I acceptably stumbled across this last week, and loved it instantly. (Mind you, I was quite drunk at the time.) Always make a bee-line for his Guardian Guide column as well...
I am feeling curiously remote from almost everything being discussed here except the Singing Detective. I still have some edifying dreams about Joanne Whalley, a plastic sheet and a tub of E45.
I love Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe, and usually his writings in the Guardian too. However he had written an article which was very, VERY anti-blogging in G2 last month that made me like him a little less. What can I say? I was dissapointed.
Mike - I wonder if it will end up on terrestial television? He's probably a bit too tetchy for mainstream tv (unlike, say, Jeremy Clarkson).

Richard - try thinking of a train going into a tunnel. That should take your mind off it.

Heather - well, if it was the article where he says "99% of the "blogosphere" is rubbish created by idiots" I can sort of see what he means. I'm not including myself in the 1%.

*ducks for cover*
Bett - a splendid post from the scrummy Gambon pic, through the wonderful, almost Swipesque description of Brooker's Davis/Sadowicz facial morph (why don't MORE people use such expressive descriptors???) He's great, isn't he - and you have him down pat there.

Completely with you on the Grauniad weekend mag. The weekly stuff is bad enough, but if I have to wade through one more how-to-remove-binge-drunk-chav-gruel-from-your-Jess-Cartier-Mornay-recommended-Spandex-Pashmina-without-alerting-your-Polack-maid-to-the-cocktail-cabinet-keyring, I'll go bloody spare. Do you think they give the proper journos the weekend off and employ post-hensile babbons? Well, and me on Sundays, obviously.

Much more of this and I may be forced to look for alternative employment - still, at least that way I won't have those bloody deadlines keeping me from the Vinho Verdi - ah, shoot, I've only dribbled some down me cardie....
I enjoyed the singing detective too and the one when they had his head in a box, just can't think what it was called now!

Thank you, er, Barbara. "The almost Swipesque description, eh?"

*narrows eyes*

I've got pasta sauce down the front of me Dorothy Perkins vest top, such are the perils of blogging while eating.

Helen - I must admit I don't remember that one, as I haven't seen everything Dennis Potter's ever done. That scene was in the film Seven, wasn't it?
No it was set the future, wish I could bloody remember what it was called. I will ask number 1 son, he knows everything, (its quite annoying sometimes)

Cold Lazarous.

The flim before that was Karaoke.

Hope the link works.

Aye, well, I have seen it but I can barely remember anything about it beyond Albert Finney falling in love with Saffron Burrows. I've probably seen Karaoke and forgotten everything about that as well. I'm amazed at how much stuff my brain manages to dump in such a short space of time.

The shame, the shame.
Mmmmmmmmmmm... Joanne Whalley. Her in Edge of Darkness AND the Singing Detective! What do they have in common? They were both brilliant and they both had Joanne Whalley in! What a golden career. Why isn't she revered like that Dench woman, who only has that torpid unfunny comedy with Geoffrey Palmer in her TV arsenal?

Newspapers: don't read them, haven't for years. You wouldn't believe the amount of time it frees up.
Perhaps she didn't get much recognition because she seems to have disappeared off the radar, and got married to Val Kilmer. Also, my mother-in-law is more likely to say "ooh, that Judi Dench is ever so good" rather than "ooh, that Joanne Whalley is ever so good". That's the deciding factor in her lack of recognition ...
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